Author Archives: Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: The Pet Project Midwest

The Pet Project Midwest has returned for their second year decorating a tree. The organization began in 2009 with the goal of keeping pets in their loving homes and out of shelters.

“The Pet Project Midwest’s mission is to make the world a better place through kindness to animals. Our primary goal is to keep animals in their homes and out of shelters,” explains representative, Kim Hanlon. “Participating in the [Silent Auction] allows us to spread our mission in a unique and festive way.”

“The funds [from the auction] will help us expand our services to our most vulnerable clients currently receiving assistance through our Paws For Life Program,” shares Hanlon. “The program helps the disabled and elderly keep their pets fed and healthy. Many times these folks will use their limited resources to feed their beloved pets instead of the medication and supplies they need. By helping with pet food and supplies, we can remove that burden.”

The Pet Project Midwest will be creating “A gift to the birds” tree for market goers to bid on. The winning bidder will be able to place this tree in their yard, unwrap the “ornaments” and watch the birds feast on a cold winter day.

For more information on The Pet Project Midwest, please visit their

BySuzanne Hull

Bratwurst Imbiß am Markt

Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt (Brat stand at the market) run by Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) returns to the market! DMEHA is the non-profit responsible for the production of Christkindlamarket Des Moines.

Enjoy a 1/4 lb, coarse-ground, German–style pork bratwurst grilled to perfection.

Usinger’s produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes provided by its founder, Fred Usinger of Wehen, Germany. The family-owned company, now in it’s fourth generation, continues to live its slogan of providing “America’s Finest Sausage”.

Offering: Usinger’s Bratwurst – $5, bottled water – $1

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Mosaic in Central Iowa

Mosaic in Central Iowa is another new addition to our 4th annual Silent Auction.

“The people we support in Central Iowa desire and deserve closer ties to the community and new opportunities for social and cultural activities,” explains Janet Fisher, Mosaic representative. “Our participation in the silent auction empowers the people we support to make new connections and allows us to introduce Mosaic’s mission to community members.”

Mosaic was formed in 2003 from the consolidation of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries dedicated to the needs of people with disabilities. It is their mission to relentlessly pursue opportunities to empower people.

“Mosaic’s funding primarily comes from Medicaid, but Medicaid funding only meets the most basic needs for people,” clarifies Fisher. “Funds from the silent auction will allow Mosaic to stand in the gap, continue providing truly personalized services and empower people to live their best life, whatever that looks like to them.”

To support this mission and bid on their tree, visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines at Principal Park December 6th-8th and preview night December 5th.

For more information about Mosaic in Central Iowa, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Veterans in Agriculture

We are excited to welcome back Veterans in Agriculture (VIA) to our Silent Auction. They have helped beautify Christkindlmarket Des Moines every year representing their organization with gorgeous trees. This years’ theme is “Red, White, and Blue.”

“After serving throughout the world, our nation’s military is always happy to return to the Red, White, and Blue.  This year’s tree will be all decked out in those colors and not only are these decorations for Christmas, but many can be used to celebrate other national holidays, like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and others,” explains Beth Grabau, VIA Executive Director.

Veterans in Agriculture are farmers, veterans, agri-business professional, educators, and other service providers dedicated to empowering veterans to thrive in Iowa agriculture. They provide three main programs/resources to help fulfill their mission statement: The Veterans in Agriculture Network, VIA Resource Guide, Rural America Hiring Heroes, and Find a Farmer Veteran.

“The Silent Auction is a great and unique opportunity for people to learn about our organization. We are able to be in front of an audience that may not otherwise hear about. It is also great fun!” shares Grabau about why VIA continues to participate in the CDM Silent Auction. “Where else can you decorate a tree that represents an aspect of the organization. And what a great way to get in the holiday spirit than to start it by decorating a tree.”

Funds earned with the purchase of this tree will be used to support the services that are provided to veterans as well as active and retired military members. 

For more information on Veterans in Agriculture, please visit their

BySuzanne Hull

European Cultural Heritage “Meet-Up”

Enjoy the fellowship of a diverse group of European Cultural Heritage Organizations for a “Meet-Up” at Christkindlmarket Des Moines. Meet in Yuletide Hall (an outdoor, forced-air heated entertainment tent) as you sip on Glühwein, enjoy a seasonal craft beer or nosh on bratwurst.

Represent your European Cultural Heritage Organization to the Des Moines community with your traditional attire, beer steins, and Glühwein mugs as you get to know other cultural heritage organizations in Central Iowa.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: DMEHA Samstagsschule

The Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) Samstagsschule – German for Kinder will be making their second appearance at the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

Offering immersive German classes to preschool age through 9th grade, from beginners to heritage speakers, DMEHA Samstagsschule strives to provide opportunities for kids to have fun while learning German language and culture.

“As part of our training, we like to introduce our students to German traditions. With our contribution to the CDM Silent Auction, we are excited to be part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines,” explains representative Katrin Nayak. “We would like to purchase additional interactive German language classroom materials, especially for our older students, 5th through 9th grade with the Silent Auction proceeds. Ensuring our students have access to a variety of interesting and age appropriate materials.”

Please visit the DMEHA Samstagsschule- German for Kinder for more information on classes, times, and location.

BySuzanne Hull

Table 20 Creativity | Silver Sponsor

We’re excited to be working with first-time sponsors, Table 20 Creativity. They will be providing time lapse footage during set up, drone work as well as B-roll.

Their business offers Professional Videography Services specializing in cinematic wedding films, real estate showcase, business promotion, aerial photography, etc.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Sons of Norway

The Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge are back again to add a little Norwegian flare to this years’ Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

“We at Sons of Norway are looking forward again to being a part of the Silent Auction. It gives us a fun activity to do and a chance to get together and team build with each other aside from our regular monthly meeting,” explains Wayne Almlie, Sons of Norway President. “It gives us an opportunity to promote our Lodge name and be involved in an activity outside of our little group.”

The mission of Sons of Norway is to promote and to preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, to celebrate relationships with other Nordic Countries, and provide quality insurance and financial products to members.

Along with supporting their mission, the Sons of Norway will use the silent auction funds to pay monthly bills and treat their lodge to special events, such as a speaker to come and present a program.

To find out more information on the Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Open Ceremony and Tree Lighting

Join us for the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Opening Ceremony and Tree Lighting. Listen to das Christkind deliver her festive proclamation to open the Christkindlmarket and see the large tree lit. The opening ceremony will begin at 6pm on Friday, December 6 at 6pm.

Joining us to flip the switch this year is Jarred Carter, President of Flexible Packaging at Siegwerk, one of our sponsors.

St. Nicholas will be accompanying das Christkind during the ceremony and they will both make a tour of the venue after the ceremony. Be sure to visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm – 4pm for another chance to see the duo in action.

Children Needed for Opening Ceremony Procession

Children are an integral component of any Christkindlmarket opening ceremony. Would your child (children) like to follow “Das Christkind” through Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 to the stage where they will watch the opening ceremony?

Contact Dave Cox at with questions and interest. Space is limited.

Participating children and their parents will be provided with the meeting time and location as we get closer to the festival. They will receive a luminary and battery-operated candle. Please return the luminaries and candles to a volunteer at the end of the opening ceremony if the child does not wish to take it home.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


About the Author

BySuzanne Hull

Visit European Christmas Markets in 2020 with DMEHA

In the Heart of Europe you will find a wonderful surprise – colorful Christmas Markets just waiting to be explored. The dramatic architecture of Europe’s spectacular cities is the perfect backdrop to the charming stalls that offer traditional items from handmade crafts to tasty foods and unexpected joys.

Join Des Moines European Heritage Association for a tour of European Christmas Markets December 7 – 14, 2020. During this tour, you will enjoy the following:

Prague walking tour and Christmas Markets
Walking tour of Cesky Krumlov and time at the Christmas Markets
Vienna walking tour and Christmas Markets
Schloss Hof tour and Christmas Market
Walking tour of Bratislava and time at the Christmas Markets
Budapest city tour and Christmas Markets

Download the complete brochure
Download the registration form

We hope you can join in the fun. Space is limited, so reserve today!